Cory Leonard

Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Grading Schools Isn’t the Answer. It’s the Problem. –

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Teacher evaluations are hot.  But what if they are not measuring the right things?

And yet now, policy makers in both parties propose ratcheting it up further — this time, by “grading” teachers as well.

It’s a mistake. In the year I spent reporting on John H. Reagan High School in Austin, I came to understand the dangers of judging teachers primarily on standardized test scores. Raw numbers don’t begin to capture what happens in the classroom. And when we reward and punish teachers based on such artificial measures, there is too often an unintended consequence for our kids.

via Grading Schools Isn’t the Answer. It’s the Problem. –



David Frum Offers a Dose of Reality

In politics on November 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

My favorite line: “The Roman Catholic Church deems despair a mortal sin.” And then this next:

The United States did not vote for socialism. It could not do so, because neither party offers socialism. Both parties champion a free enterprise economy cushioned by a certain amount of social insurance. The Democrats (mostly) want more social insurance, the Republicans want less. National politics is a contest to move the line of scrimmage, in a game where there’s no such thing as a forward pass, only a straight charge ahead at the defensive line. To gain three yards is a big play.

Whatever you think of the Obama record, it’s worth keeping in mind that by any measure, free enterprise has been winning the game for a long, long time to this point.

via Conservatives, don’t despair –

via Conservatives, don’t despair –

The Bloomberg Way – James Bennet – The Atlantic

In politics on November 7, 2012 at 5:15 am

Bloomberg waxes poetic on the life of a political leader in the Twitterverse and other challenges of governance, including a declining media establishment:

The bad news is, I think it is fair to say, the quality of journalism has gone down dramatically. It is a function of the economics of the news business. We don’t have experienced reporters. We get rid of them and get low-priced novices who have never traveled and have no understanding of what they’re writing… We don’t have the editors, we don’t have the legal beagles, you have the competition of the blogs—I don’t know what the difference between a blog and a newspaper is, for example, and sometimes they have different standards, even under the same logo and the same name.

So I think we’ve dumbed down, and it’s not good for society. It’s hard to argue that we aren’t going more towards an instant-gratification, sound-bite kind of world. And I think the technology is driving that; the economics of the business, as I just said, is driving that; the political process is driving it.

via The Bloomberg Way – James Bennet – The Atlantic.


Brown Alumna Recalls What She Failed to Learn –

In career on November 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Avoiding failure is built into our ed systems on the path for accomplished students.  We should ask what we really need to be learning:

Because, as research shows, actual learning comes by making mistakes and figuring out what went wrong and how to make it right. In a world of high-achieving but vaguely lost new graduates, the importance of not always doing well or being told you are doing well is gaining currency. Recently, David McCullough Jr., a high school English teacher and son of the historian David McCullough, signed a book deal based on his popular commencement speech, “You Are Not Special,” which was widely viewed on YouTube. What young graduates want today, Mr. McCullough said in his speech, is the accumulation of accolades rather than genuine intellectual reward: “It’s, what does this get me?” The book, according to a publicity statement, will argue that “life is a great adventure to swallow whole rather than a checklist to complete.”

via Brown Alumna Recalls What She Failed to Learn –